Mental health support workers are social workers who help treat people with mental illness. They do this through a range of services which includes therapy, social rehabilitation, outreach and the teaching of skills needed to carry out day-to-day activities.
Mental health workers can work in private practices where they are hired and paid directly by the client. They can also work in outpatient facilities where the client will come in for treatment and then go, or in inpatient clinics where the client will be a resident.
Most mental health workers will work a 40-hour week. However, in certain cases overtime may be required, with workers having to see clients in the evenings or during the weekend.
Mental health workers will need to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree if they want to enter the profession. A degree in social work is normally preferred, but other programs such as psychology, sociology and related degrees are also considered.
The National Careers service expects the number of UK workers in this career path to grow from 110,000 in 2014 to 1,213,000 in 2020.
The average salary for mental health workers in the UK in 2013 was between £21,388 and £27,901, according to the National Careers Service. Specialists earn more -- around £34,530 a year.